Tipperary farming: EU must address contradictions in Green Deal, CAP and trade

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Tipperary farming: EU must address contradictions in Green Deal, CAP and trade

Tipperary farming: EU must address contradictions in Green Deal, CAP and trade

IFA national livestock chairman Brendan Golden told the first trans-national BovINE meeting for the European Beef industry organised by Poland that the EU Commission must address the serious contradictions and lack of policy co-ordination under the Green deal, CAP and trade policy.

“Under the Green Deal, the EU is driving up costs and want organic production standards at conventional prices, while at the same time under the Mercosur trade deal, the Commission is importing beef that fails to meet EU standards and would be illegal to produce in the EU,” he said.

The online BovINE meeting, Sustainable Beef farming; Policy and Practice in the context of the Green Deal, was also addressed by the Polish Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Grzegorz Puda; Thomas Sanchez from the EU COPA-Cogeca Beef and Veal Group, and Jacek Zarzecki, president of the Polish Association of Beef Cattle Breeders and Producers.

Mr Golden said the Green Deal was very ambitious and will have a major impact on farming. “It’s a top down driven plan from the EU Commission and needs detailed assessment based on facts and solid science,” he said.

He said the EU family farm model and economic sustainability needed to be placed at the top of the Green Deal agenda by politicians and policy makers.

On the Green Deal and CAP, Mr Golden said the EU Commission must learn the hard lessons from Covid-19 and recognise the importance of health, food security and food sovereignty for Europe.

“Never was it more important in the history of the European Union to have a strong EU and CAP Budget which underpins a strong CAP and a sustainable and resilient food supply chain based on family farms,” he said.

Mr Golden said farmers were the key in terms of delivering on the environment sustainability but their economic sustainability was critical.

The Green Deal made it clear that farmers earn only half of the average EU worker.

“Farmers cannot be green if they are always in the red,” he said.

On the priorities for the CAP, Mr Golden said with the EU CAP budget negotiations concluded, the funding issues now turns to the Irish Government and the critical need for very strong co-financing.

“Important issues include targeted payment for vulnerable sectors like suckler cows and a payment for carbon sequestration additional to the CAP budget,” he said.

Mr Golden said farmers are also very concerned about eco scheme proposals in Pillar I, which involve additional environmental compliance without any additional budget.